MoBoo has been a goal for me for a very long time.In the mid-2000s, when I was working on our sister products for professionals in CLCD, when friends asked what I was working on, the description was always something like "we help find great books for children since we know a lot about books and ...".Moms invariably asked where they could get CLCD or find it.The answer to this was always, “well, we only produce products for professionals and educators,” which stopped the conversation.At times, I got the retort, "Oh! But you must do something for parents.
Meanwhile, I was busy raising a child and building a career as a successful software development manager, but the idea of a product for parents just kept rattling around in my mind.In 2009, when I found some free time, I started to nail down a product under the name eKitab. I still own that domain name, eKitab, which is the word for book in Farsi. The initial eKitab product idea strongly resembles what is now MoBoo. It really forms the core of the product function, which is to encourage children to read more by simply helping them find great books that are of interest and skill level appropriate for them. Our new product is cutting edge and so much more, but the original write-ups for eKitab will show glimpses in MoBoo.
Another step towards creating MoBoo came through my love of traveling. I love to travel and one of the pleasures for my family and me when visiting a city is to wire ourselves into the public transport system for the city.It gives you a more intimate feel of life in that city as well as the places that locals visit. I wanted to build a product around this idea and planned to launch a website called CityTrain. One of the contract developers working on it with me was Kranthi Gajjala. We seemed to share a mindset, and I liked working with him more than the person who was supposed to be the project manager. While CityTrain didn't take off, I had found a person in Kranthi who was on the same wavelength as me.
I took the idea of eKitab to Kranthi, and we kicked it around for a year.It was clear that we didn't have a product unless we could license the critical data from CLCD forMoBoo.I started those conversations with CLCD’s owners, but when I acquired CLCD in 2011, it seemed all the pieces necessary for MoBoo just came together.It took us another six years to stabilize CLCD to where it is the successful company it is today, and then in 2017, we tested MoBoo with potential customers.We basicallylearned that MoBoo was not ready from the feedback in 2017. We made changes, and the next test was when we showed the product at TechCrunch in Berlin at the end of 2018.Our takeaway was the product was almost ready but still needed a few improvements.It took another year as CLCD took up some of the time, but I amhappy that I can now tell moms that "we can help YOU help your children improve their reading.” MoBoo is everything we hoped it would be, and we are extremely excited to bring this product to families everywhere.
Dr. Ajay Gupte President, CLCD, LLC.